Quiet Title Against All the World

Quiet Title Against All the World is also known as “Quia Timet Against All the World.”  Just like Conventional Quiet Title, the purpose of this procedure is to remove clouds upon the plaintiff’s title to their land. O.C.G.A. 23-3-60.

However, unlike Conventional Quiet Title, this procedure conclusively establishes ownership of the land and every interest in it, as to not only the named defendants, but also any unknown claimant. O.C.G.A. 23-3-60; O.C.G.A. 23-3-61.

The equity of redemption remaining after a tax sale can be removed through this process. O.C.G.A. 23-3-61.  However, Conventional Quiet Title can also accomplish this results, and is generally faster and less expensive. O.C.G.A. 23-3-44.

A Petition for Quiet Title Against All the World must be filed in the Superior Court where the land is located, and the Petition must contain very specific contents. O.C.G.A. 23-3-62.

A Lis Pendens must also be filed in the land records of the Superior Court where the land is located. O.C.G.A. 23-3-62.  “A lis pendens is not a lien on the property.  It merely notifies prospective purchasers that the property is involved in a lawsuit.” Dime Savings Bank of New York, FSB v. Sandy Springs Associates, Inc., 261 Ga. 485, 405 S.E.2d 491 (1991).

Once the lawsuit is filed, the Superior Court judge appoints a Special Master, who must be a Georgia lawyer and live in the judicial circuit where the case is pending. O.C.G.A. 23-3-63. The Special Master must be paid, and therefore some plaintiffs prefer Conventional Quiet Title to avoid this expense. O.C.G.A. 23-3-68.

The Special Master reviews the plaintiff’s filing, and can request that the plaintiff submit a title abstract or additional evidence. O.C.G.A. 23-3-64.  The Special Master then determines who has adverse claims and is entitled to notice, and causes a Summons to be issued by the Clerk for each person. O.C.G.A. 23-3-65.  The defendants have 30 days to respond after they are served, and in some circumstances service can be made by publication, or a guardian ad litem appointed for a minor or disabled defendant.  O.C.G.A. 23-3-65.

Once all defendants have been served and the time for responses has passed, then the Special Master will determine the validity and nature of the plaintiff’s title, and of any other interests in the land, and whether any clouds upon the plaintiff’s title should be removed. O.C.G.A. 23-3-66.

The Special Master’s determination is not final, but instead the Special Master submits a report with his or her findings to the judge. O.C.G.A. 23-3-66.  If the Special Master or any party requests it, a jury trial will be held on any question of fact. O.C.G.A. 23-3-66.

The judge then reviews the Special Master’s report (or a jury verdict if applicable) and issues a ruling. O.C.G.A. 23-3-67.  This ruling is recorded in the deed records, and is conclusive upon the entire world. O.C.G.A. 23-3-67.  However, anyone who was not made a party previously has 30 days after the judgment is entered to intervene and reopen the case, so that their rights may be determined. O.C.G.A. 23-3-69.

Navigating the court processes in an action for Quiet Title Against All the World can be difficult, and tedious.  Also, any plaintiff which is a company and not a natural person is required to be represented by an attorney.  Winzer v. EHCA Dunwoody, LLC, 277 Ga. App 710, 713 (2006); Eckles v. Atlanta Technology Group, Inc., 267 Ga. 801, 485 S.E.2d 22 (1997).  Therefore, it is strongly recommended that you consult with an attorney who is very experienced with actions for Quia Timet Against All the World in Georgia.